This is the first posted edition of my story Luca.
Luca is a special riolu who is given to the trainer Felix. Meant for each other, the two endeavor to make the best of their lives together. However, what is life without trials to make bonds grow stronger?
Family or Family...?
"Yes..." Lucario said as he looked up at me with a stern look, but much to my relief it faded quickly into a much kinder look as he continued. "But you're not to blame, and I can't thank you enough for rescuing her."
"But..." I tried to protest, however I wasn't given the chance to argue my guilt.
"We can talk on the way back Felix, but you really aren't at fault here." Lucario's companion said kindly, to which I nodded solemnly and packed up what little I had left out. Once I was finished the three of us started walking towards my home.
"You still blame yourself for this don't you?" The man asked me after we set out.
"She knows me better than anyone. If I didn't do something to hurt her she wouldn't be so upset with me..." I replied sadly, but what was bothering me more at the moment was that I knew so little about these two. They had given Luca to me in the first place, I knew the Lucario was Luca's father, but beyond that I knew nothing of them personally, so I couldn't help but feel as though I had utterly failed them.
"You're actions were twisted Felix... You are the single most caring person we've ever entrusted a Riolu to. Luca's abilities developed much faster than anyone we've known, and it's all thanks to the love you've shown her. I must admit it's not often that a human actually falls in love with their charge, but you have a unique mindset that most don't have. You see every pokemon as an equal, which is how it should be. They are sentient after all, and love should not be restricted to those of the same species." The man replied and sighed before continuing in a much more regretful voice. "I am very sorry Felix... We were forced to sit by and watch this happen..."
"Why couldn't you help...? And I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I know so little about you..." I answered sadly as another pain hit my heart. It hadn't quite occurred to me that they might have been able to prevent all of this had they stepped in to help me back when Luca was taken.
"It's forbidden to interfere with events that affect anyone more than Luca and you..." Lucario answered as he gritted his teeth, making it all to clear that he would have helped if he could, but I remembered it took a Lucario and their companion to open a time rift, and with how responsible Lucario's companion seemed, I suspected he was the reason they hadn't come to Luca's aid.
"I'm sorry, but that's exactly why... And it's also the reason we haven't told you much about ourselves. We're forbidden to reveal our names, and anything about our way of life that is not needed to help you understand the gifts you've been given." The man said after Lucario stopped. It never crossed my mind at that point that I could understand Lucario, but that was the case, and I realized he actually hadn't said anything during the previous times we met, and I figured I should speak to him alone at some point.
"I understand, and I won't ask you to break your values. But... you know what's happened. Please... I can't loose her... but I can't force her to do anything. I don't think there's anymore I can do..." I said despairingly, pleading for help even though I was still uncomfortable around the two, since pokemon human relationships were very rare, and I couldn't get over the unworthy feeling I had. I loved Luca with all my heart, but it was my own nature that humbled me in front of her father.
"Felix, we're here to help, but you're right. It's not fair that we know so much about you when you know next to nothing about us... To start, my name's Kyrios, you can call me Ky though." The man replied with a kind look.
"And I know you can understand me, I'm Lekan." Lucario continued after his companion finished. I looked to Lekan as he spoke, but what they were doing caught me off guard.
"No, no. Please, I understand your position! I don't want you to get in trouble because of me!" I said frantically, thinking some kind of punishment would befall Ky and Lekan for their actions.
"It's alright. You don't need to worry about us we know what we're doing." Ky said calmly to relax me, and once he saw I had calmed down he continued his explanation. "You already know Lekan and I come from an old tribe that lives in harmony with Lucario. And you know we search out trainers that can give riolu good homes. That is our main responsibility, but the details go much deeper... Felix, none of what I'm about to tell you is to be repeated. There are those in this and other times that seek power and if they learned of our actions they would hunt us down." Ky continued with a serious look towards me.
"I understand... but please, if you shouldn't be telling me these things..." I said calmly. I trusted they knew what they were doing, but I never wanted them to be punished for trying to make things easier on me.
"It's fine, really. Now, my clan lives in harmony with a group of Lucario. My ancestors happened to find the Lucario clan a long time ago. At first the Lucario were wary of humans, but they were able to sense our spirits and ultimately chose to continue living with us. Over time, some of the Lucario forged bonds with the humans and through that they discovered that a Lucario's wave guiding abilities existed in humans as well. With that discovery we progressed in much the same way you have, though much slower. However, it wasn't just the humans that benefited. The Lucario also lived better lives with our company, even though not all of them had companions. As the years went by our two clans flourished until a new ability was discovered... The ability to cross time. It was then that conflict arose. Half of the now combined clans favored using this ability to find Riolu a good home with a companion, while the other half wished to stay isolated, because of the evil that existed in the rest of the world. With this conflict, the clan split. This is the reason there are wild Lucario in this day and age. However, our half of the clan proceeded to find good homes for Riolu. Not every Riolu was given a companion, but a way was found to determine which individuals would benefit from the experience and those Riolu were given the honor. We believe doing this will keep our beliefs alive through the ages, since those that we choose as caretakers are extensively researched before a Riolu is given to them. Let alone, the parents of that Riolu must agree to the new home..." He explained as we walked. Of course I listened intently, it all made sense, though some of the details were rather sad, let alone I couldn't quite figure out why he was explaining all this to me in the first place.
"So you approved of Luca staying with me then?" I asked Lekan humbly.
"I did, and so did Ruki. I never did like spying on people, but after watching how much you cared for your Ninetails, and in the end reading your aura for myself during our battle, I knew Luca needed you." He replied kindly.
"I'm sorry I let you down then..." I replied.
"It's not your fault. As we said, your actions were twisted, and now she doesn't know what to think. As you've probably figured out, we have ways to watch other time periods. It's hard to explain, but I kept an eye on Luca with every free moment I had. We think she needs someone who wouldn't naturally support you... but..." Lekan continued, and paused as he looked at his feet with that final word.
"But what?" I asked, becoming very scared as to what he wasn't saying.
"But there's another reason we're here... If something like this happens... we have to offer the Lucario or riolu the chance to return to our time with us... Felix, you should know. Luca is very conflicted, and we can't deny her request if she does choose to return with us..." Lekan continued after raising his head to look at the sky, but when I heard those words my eyes snapped open and focused on the ground as I quivered unnoticeably.
"... A-at least I know she'll be safe and well cared for..." I said as I closed my eyes tight.
"You can't give up faith in her Felix, even if she does decide to come back with us... It is very rare that this happens, but when it does, we do everything we can to fix things... You see, once a Riolu bonds with someone, and especially after they evolve, they need their companion. It's not a physical need, but emotionally they will always be bound to their companion. If they are separated it is hard for them to get over the loss, and even with the help of other loved ones they may never get over it. I expect this is what is bothering Luca. No matter what she says she's finding that she still loves you. But due to her time in that facility her mind is fighting her heart, convincing her that you don't love her and that you're using her. But we know this isn't true and I think you know she doesn't want to listen to anyone that defends you because she thinks you're behind their words. Believe me Felix, if it is at all possible we strive to reunite a Lucario and their companion. I pray for both your and Luca's sake that we can show her you do care, but you must not let your feelings falter." Ky explained further, and once again it all made perfect sense, and it gave me a small new sense of hope.
"Thank you..." I said sadly, but my voice also had a happy tone to it.
"It's not a problem. We essentially put this on you, there's no reason we shouldn't help you in any way we can." Ky replied kindly, and after that our conversation turned to a much happier topic.
It had been a long time since they had visited us so I explained a few things, though the conversation was mostly about how Leo was doing... Lekan seemed very happy to hear about his grandson, and from the look on his face I could tell he couldn't wait to meet Leo for himself.
Later on I did manage to gather the courage to talk more personally to Lekan about Luca and I. Ky, thankfully, knew more or less what I wanted to do and left us alone when Lekan asked if he'd mind. Knowing I wouldn't have all day to beat around the bush I forced myself to speak up right away.
"Lekan, I'm really sorry about all this. I never even got the chance to ask you if you minded us becoming mates..." I began sadly, but that truly was only the beginning. I had thought of something I should have done a long time ago, and though it would do me little good at present, I wanted to get it done in the hopes Luca might give me another chance.
"I appreciate it Felix, but it's not my place to come between Luca and you..." Lekan answered, but I could tell he was just reciting rules.
"You have every right to, she's your daughter! Lekan, I want you to know I love her with all my heart and I always will. But you're her father, and there's something I wanted to ask you. I know it's a little late, but would you let me take Luca's hand, er, paw in marriage?" I said with an embarrassed tone. It felt so strange to be doing this, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
"I don't understand." Lekan replied with a strange look towards me, as if I was speaking a different tongue, and obviously not understanding why I was embarrassed.
"I'm sorry." I began again this time with deep blush and a forced smile before continuing. "It's a human custom in this era to ask the father of the one you love if you can become mates, more or less. I know it's a little late, but I wanted to ask you if you would let her be with me."
"Oh, I see now. I already told you it's not my place... But if you really want an answer, I would be honored if you would..." He said cheerfully with a small smile, silently appreciating my gesture before continuing. "To be honest though, I was just as hesitant as her mother was to let her go in the first place. I knew she needed you, but... a-anyway, after I battled you and Lady everything felt a bit better. I don't think you noticed that night, but all I did was stare at you, and when it came time to leave Luca with you, I knew you were right for her. In all honesty... if I didn't want you and her to be together... I would never have left her with you in the first place..." He finished with a subtle happiness.
"Thank you sir... Once again I'm sorry this happened, and you have my word I will never give up on her." I replied with a small chuckle and a smile at first, but continued with a sincere tone.
"You're welcome son." Lekan said mockingly with a smile of his own, telling me indirectly that formalities weren't necessary, and that he knew I would never abandon his daughter. I laughed with him, and shortly after that Ky rejoined us wearing a smile of his own. As we continued on Lekan and Ky took the chance to explain some of the abilities Luca and I had discovered, and why some had faded while others didn't.
As it turns out some abilities rely more heavily on the bond between companions, such as understanding other pokemon and wave sight, but since Luca and I still retained even the slightest connection with each other, I could still understand her and other Lucario. When I asked about my aura sphere ability Ky replied by explaining that particular trait relied on my strength alone, but it was only made possible because of Luca teaching me, otherwise I would never have been able to use it, so in one aspect it too relied on the basic bond we shared.
We continued our talks as we walked, but when we finally made it home Ky and Lekan insisted on not coming in right away. They said it would raise to many questions and they reminded me that Luca and I were the only two allowed to know who they were... Well Luca, me and Leo...
With everything I had told them about my son I could tell they were eager to meet him. Knowing this and since it wasn't to late in the day, I went inside and called for Leo. He sadly came down from upstairs, and once I had roughed up the pups, who decided to attack me while Leo responded, Leo and I went back outside. Of course before I did I said hello to Lady and Umbreon, as well as Lisa, since they all had gotten up to greet me and see how I was doing, and if I didn't know better I'd have thought Umbreon was the one who told the pups to attack me since the girls ran giggling back to him after I ruffled their fur.
When Leo and I cleared the door he caught sight of Lekan and his eyes widened. I had explained before that his species was very rare, and that aside from Kail, his mother and I had seen only one other Lucario, so it was no surprise he couldn't help but stare curiously.
As I stood next to Leo with my hand on his shoulder I smiled faintly at Lekan. They no doubt noticed Leo had a few traits from me, mostly a slightly increased height, his blue eyes, and his human fingers, but they smiled back which seemed to embarrass Leo since he didn't like being the center of attention in situations like this.
"Leo, this is your grandfather." Was all I could think to say as I pointed him towards Lekan, and when I finished I heard Leo stop breathing momentarily.
"Well you certainly take after your dad, but you still look just like your mother." Lekan said cheerfully and moved in front of Leo. I could tell Leo didn't know what to do, made obvious by the fact that he was frozen. I guessed being told this was his grandfather had really caught him of guard since the two had never seen each other before.
"We're here to help your mom Leo." Lekan continued with a serious voice.
"I... h-how?" Leo managed sadly.
"We just want to talk to her, and hopefully clear a few things up for her." Ky said as he stepped up beside Lekan. I felt Leo shrink slightly as Ky came closer, but I rubbed his shoulder lightly and he calmed down, seeing this was for the best and that I trusted the two men in front of us.
"Ok..." Leo conceded shyly and looked at the ground, but shortly after that Lekan put a paw on Leo's shoulder and offered a few reassuring words.
"Don't worry Leo. I promise she'll be alright, but she might stay with us for a while." Lekan said, trying to break the possible bad news to Leo as easily as possible, but it was still hard for Leo to hear, and upon hearing Luca might "stay" with them for a while Leo gasped and locked gazes with his grandfather.
"B-but she... you can't take her away...! Dad...!?" Leo said sadly as he moved closer to me with tears forming in his eyes.
"I know... but don't worry that's only a last resort, and if that happens they promised me they'd bring her back to us." I replied calmly, adding a small lie to make him feel better. They hadn't promised me they would bring her back, but they did say they'd do everything possible to get her to choose to come back... Knowing they couldn't actually say such a thing, Lekan and Ky just smiled as Leo looked back at them. This comforted Leo enough to calm him down once again, and since that was over, Leo and I took them inside.
It wasn't hard to keep Ky and Lekan a secret from my parents. They were in the living room and simply thought one of the now many inhabitants were accompanying me. So we went upstairs without a word.
"Luca...?" I started, but before I could continue Lekan put a paw on my shoulder to stop me from misspeaking and giving away that I had gone looking for help. I saw Luca resting on the bed again and as before, she rolled over and looked towards me. Her eyes widened when she saw Lekan and Ky, but she didn't react further.
"We came to Felix as he was escorting Kail. We know what's happened, we want to help." Ky said solemnly with a kind look to Luca. I took the hint when Lekan released me and I patted Leo on the shoulder then headed back downstairs with my son, though Leo was hesitant to leave and tried to get one last look at his mother as we rounded the corner. What he saw wasn't very comforting. Luca had stood up and was nearly in tears at the sight of her father, but I just hoped it would work this time...
Both Leo and I were nervous as we let the three converse privately. Mother fixed dinner and since she made extra I snuck two more plates upstairs with Luca's meal. I figured it was the least I could do, but when I went up I was met with nearly emotionless looks that asked why I was there, so after humbly setting the plates down I left promptly, although Luca, I noticed, did have a sad look in her eyes and avoided looking at me.
It was getting late and we still hadn't heard anything from upstairs. No one had come down, and my parents had gone to bed along with most everyone else, leaving just me and Leo, that I knew of, awake. Neither of us could sleep, even though we had tried, but when a low rumble ran through the house accompanied by a rather loud crack that sounded reminiscent of lightning, both Leo and I froze, terrified of what it might have been, even though I was the only one who had an idea...
I couldn't bring myself to go upstairs at that moment, and I barely heard Leo ask me what the sound was, I sighed sadly and fought my tears with closed eyes as I stood up and motioned for him to follow me. We painfully ascended the stairs and entered my room, finding that everyone had disappeared...
I felt tears well up in my eyes and I tried my best to hold them back. I suppose I never really though she would actually leave...
"They took her! Dad they took her! You said they...!" Leo cried frantically, his tears streaming through his fur as he looked at me with a scared look until he realized I wasn't doing anything.
"No... They didn't take her. She chose to go with them..." I said sadly as I looked away, unable to face my son since I knew I hadn't told him everything.
"Y-you knew this would happen...? You let mom go with them!?" Leo said, at first with a bewildered tone then becoming upset with me as his gaze turned to an angry glare.
"I couldn't stop her. I'm sorry Leo... I tried, there was nothing I could do, they made it clear that she had a choice... but I never thought... she would actually leave..." I said, pleading for him to understand and despairing as I finished. That was all I could bring myself to say as my tears kept falling, and with nothing left I went downstairs and lay on the couch, eventually crying myself to sleep once again...
Leo never came down that night... Instead he stayed upstairs and cried himself to sleep on the bed. I hadn't noticed, but the pokeball pendant necklace I had asked Luca to keep to remember me by remained on the nightstand. Leo had found it though and was clutching it to his chest as he lay there, pleading his mother to come back...
The next day was especially hard on Leo and I. No one had woken up the night before despite the loud noise, but it wasn't long before everyone learned that Luca was gone. Leo wouldn't speak to anyone, but I told Lady and Umbreon what happened since they had already met Ky and Lekan, though I didn't divulge anything they didn't already know about the duo. Lady whined sadly and cuddled with me for a while, knowing I was broken up and tried to reassure me that Luca would come back. Umbreon did his best as well, and while Lady went to Leo and spoke to him about what she knew, Umbreon did his best to keep me company, not leaving my side or lap except for something important such as the pups. Lisa, Elli, Tarzan, and the pups all caught onto the sad mood that hung over the house and kept to themselves that day, mostly curled up together, or alone depending on the case, and trying to rest.
My parents tried their hardest to get me to explain everything, but I had made a promise and I simply told them that the two people who had given Luca to me had come to help, and that they couldn't refuse her if she wanted to return with them. Much to my dismay they were very upset with me for allowing this to happen, and didn't understand that I had to let her leave if she so chose...
Nothing could have made that day worse, and later that night I couldn't sleep again. Umbreon had fallen asleep next to me, but my mind continued to race and it only upset me more. Finally my tears returned and I gently stood up and started packing.
There was nothing more I could do here, and I wasn't going to be pitied by those dearest to me, or be accused of not caring. I went upstairs when I was done packing my things and found Leo curled into a tight ball, supposedly sleeping, with Luca's necklace. Another stabbing pain hit my heart as I saw the item for the first time, but I kept my resolve and laid a note on the nightstand for Leo. I also left a similar note on the dinning room table for my parents and I snuck to the door and outside, making it to the end of the short walkway before a voice stopped me.
"So you're giving up on all of us...?" Leo's voice said in a sad but somewhat angry tone.
"No... I'm saving you the trouble of dealing with me... I'm sorry Leo... I don't blame you for how you feel, and I deserve it, but I couldn't do anything more. It was her choice..." I said solemnly, without turning around to face him.
"Nine niine..." I heard Lady say shortly after I finished, but I still didn't turn.
"She says you're not leaving alone." Leo repeated seriously, as though he were including himself in the statement. After hearing this I sighed lightly and turned to face the two of them, but I saw Lisa sitting with them as well.
"You don't have to come... I'll be fine." I replied, but Leo walked up to me after I finished.
"I'm sorry dad. I shouldn't have yelled at you... Lady explained everything to me." He said with his head bowed sadly and his ears laid back as his forced resolve finally faded.
"You don't have to explain..." I said, but resisted the urge to embrace him since I wasn't sure if he would accept it, and I didn't want something else to tear at my heart... Another second later though I noticed he was crying, and I couldn't help but take my chances. I put my arms around him and pulled him close, and as I did so he returned my embrace, holding me tightly as he expressed his sorrows. I simply rubbed his back and told him I understood and not to worry, though I knew the second part did little good. I knew something I could say to cheer him up, but I didn't want to raise his spirits only to have him despair later so I kept the possibility of Luca returning to myself, even though I hoped and prayed she would return soon. As I held Leo I felt my eyes tear up again, but I kept my composure and after a while I calmed Leo down and looked to Lady and Lisa as I stood there, still in my son's embrace.
Meeting my gaze the two girls walked out to us, but just as they did another member of our extended family showed himself. I saw him put his paws on the screen door and look through the bottom screen panel sadly, but his mother didn't notice, so I quietly said Lady's name to get her attention before nosing towards the door. A little confused she turned to see Jem's sad face, and before she could respond he looked down and disappeared below the screen.
Lady ran to the door and opened it with a tail, but I knew she would need some help to console her pup, and thanks to Leo and the girls I was in much better spirits than when I had started to leave. So I put my hand on Leo's head which got him to look up at me and release me when he noticed I wanted to do something. He wiped his eyes as I gently released him and went over to the house where Lady had entered and was now trying to explain to Jem that she had to leave.
"Would you like to come Jem?" I said calmly and kindly once I was inside the door, and as I spoke Lady snapped her head towards me, surprised I would offer such a thing with how I felt. I saw Jem's eyes widen at the prospect of accompanying his mother, but it was also apparent he didn't want to leave his sisters. However, Lady had an answer to that. She calmly explained that Umbreon would take care of them as she nuzzled him sweetly. After that he seemed more at ease, but something else was bothering him now, and knowing how he took after his father, I figured he was worried that I didn't want to take him and that he would be a bother.
"It's alright, you can come with us. Your sisters will be fine with your dad." I said kindly and he looked at me with his questioning eyes. Since I knew things had changed I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote an extension to my first note to my parents saying I had a change of heart thanks to Lady and Leo and that they were accompanying me with Lisa and Jem. At the end I asked them again to take care of everyone else until I returned, and with that I gently picked up Jem and took him outside where Lisa and Leo were waiting.
With everyone ready to go we left in the middle of the night, not knowing exactly where to go or what to do, but I knew I had to get out of the house, and it wasn't just my sadness that made me leave. There was something more, but I didn't know what... It felt as though I had to leave, or I might never see Luca again...
With a bright flash of light a visible distortion appeared in an earlier time. Out of it walked a human and two Lucario. Just as when they had left, it was nighttime, and though Luca was tired and depressed they started walking, finding a rather large settlement not too far away. There were a few Lucario around, but they gave the trio nothing more than a passing glance, and at one hut Ky said good night and entered a hut. The two Lucario continued on and a short distance away Lekan led Luca into his home. Much to her surprise there was already a bed made for her, as if they knew this would happen, and it only saddened her more.
'They knew I would leave Felix...' Luca thought as she noticed the bed, but her father placed a paw on her back and assured her they did not know she would come, making an assumption from her reaction that that was what she was thinking.
"Try and get some rest, your mother will be very happy to see you tomorrow." Lekan whispered kindly and left Luca with her privacy as he entered another room. However, she didn't sleep well that night, she tossed and turned with her unconscious thoughts for most of the night before her mind calmed enough to allow her to sleep peacefully.